Gov. Pete Ricketts denies President Donald Trump, frustrated by Senator Ben Sasse’s criticism of him, has asked Ricketts to challenge a possible 2020 re-election bid by the senator.
Ricketts gives a flat “No” when asked about a Politico article which suggests allies of Trump have approached him about mounting a primary challenge to Sasse should the senator seek re-election.
“There’s no truth to that whatsoever and if I’m fortunate enough to be re-elected as governor for a second term, I plan on staying governor for the entire term,” Ricketts tells Nebraska Radio Network when asked about the article.
The article by the Washington-based news outlet first suggests Sasse would mount a Republican primary challenge to the re-election of President Trump, then claims Trump has been searching for a primary challenger against Sasse.
Sasse, when asked about the article by Nebraska Radio Network, called the article “a whole bunch of nonsense” and said nobody should waste any time on it.
The article claimed Trump supporters in Nebraska have been looking for possible primary challengers to run against Sasse with the early attention focusing on Ricketts “who has forged a warm relationship with the president and will be termed out of office in 2022” if he wins re-election.
Ricketts denies Nebraska Republicans have soured on Sasse.
“I haven’t had anybody in the party come to me and say, ‘Hey, we want to find somebody else to run against him.’ I think with anybody there’s going to be pros and cons. People are going to gripe once in a while, but I haven’t heard of anybody seriously considering running against Sen. Sasse,” Ricketts says.
Ricketts just doesn’t see a backlash against Sasse.
“I think we can put this firmly in the category of rumor,” Ricketts says with a chuckle.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]